The 2021 NFL season is only two weeks old, but the yearly landscape is already starting to take shape. Only seven undefeated teams remain, while seven clubs still remain winless.
Although the postseason is still well off in the distance, some teams seem to have a tougher road to the playoffs than others.
Hardest remaining schedules:
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— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2021
">Pro Football Focus pointed to five organizations in particular that have the hardest remaining schedules after Week 2: the Washington Football Team, the Los Angeles Chargers, the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Washington Football Team was dealt a tough hand to start the season when starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation in the first game of the year. Although Taylor Heinicke brought the team back for a Week 2 win, the club has a tough road forward. Washington will play the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks before the year is up.
The Los Angeles Chargers have the potential to be one of the biggest success stories in the NFL in 2021 with Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert entering his second year in the league with a new head coach. However, LA will need to get past the Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders twice, along with the entire AFC North to navigate their way into the postseason.
The Giants play the entire NFC West and all of the AFC West, while the Packers will have to navigate past the Chiefs, the Rams and the AFC North. The Steelers will be challenged inside their own division and will need to win most of those games to make the playoffs later this season.
It's important to note that which teams have the most difficult schedules will change over the course of the year as results pour in. At this point, it's too early to project which teams truly have the hardest road to the playoffs, but as of right now it'll be an uphill battle for the above five teams.